Lately I have been considering what ‘home’ means to me. Writing this 1,200 kilometres from my physical home has me questioning what constitutes feelings of comfort. Is it being in a secure space, one which houses my family, my friends, those that I love? Could it come down to being in the presence of loving company, regardless of if we have a place to sleep that night?
Without love we go around in continuous circles. A lack of love for what we have/do/be/are is akin to driving on a roundabout without ever turning off. A waste of time that will eventually prove futile once you run out of juice and realise your tires are balding in an unbalanced manner. The act being a means to no specific end. We are bound to feel like something just isn’t right if we have no love for our circumstance. Nor for our skill, our ability, our family and friends, our upbringing, our freedom.
I’m currently driving up the east coast, exploring various avenues in search of a change.
The trip has consisted of just me, my car, and my mix tapes. The driving broken up by a sense of anticipation while cruising the highways, and a sense of apprehension the closer I get to the smaller towns. With the realisation that I’ll soon have stop in one and that I can’t outrun myself.
I guess this is the first experience I can really say has been of my own volition. With all responsibility left up to me. Not to mention it’s been a long time coming, as many would already know. It’s scary, it’s freeing, and it’s like nothing I’ve experienced. I’m not yet sure what to make of it from ten days on the road. But I’ve come up with a few takeaways anyway…
What a solo road trip has taught me about love and home:
Home is a complex thing to define
I believe that the idea of ‘home’ is a multi-faceted one. Constituted of memories, loved ones to share in the memory-making, physical landscapes, spiritual becoming, self-awareness and faith. Considering all these things, it’s more than likely you’ll miss certain people and associate feelings of comfort with them as being homely. If you do this, you end up with many little homes wherever it is that you go. Each of them being a little slice of love to park yourself for as long as is needed.
More people are backing you than you know
It’s funny how people are happy to help you out if they know you need a hand. All you have to do is kindly ask! If you do not ask, you do not receive. That’s simple enough. By putting the word out, you’re bettering your chances of others coming on board with their own experience and expertise to help you in achieving your goals and desires. And on the flipside, you can return the favour. It always pays to be kind and stay humble.
The universe will always support you
I’m not going to lie and say this trip by myself has been easy on my head and heart. For someone who tends to feel deeply, I find it can be difficult trying to lovingly and patiently deal with many emotions. Some seemingly creep up and slap you in the face, disappearing just as quickly. Saying that, the driving itself is exciting and easygoing. It’s just the slowing down, stopping for the night, not knowing and playing-it-by-ear that can be really taxing; emotionally and mentally. However, it’s been easier to deal with the transition of knowing my days and town inside-out, to being out of my depth in new streets and cities, with a few phone calls to loved ones. Keeping in contact about cool details of the trip and what’s happening in their lives helps create presence. I was happily surprised at all the help and support given to me. At just the right times too – considering I wasn’t even sure where I’d be after the first three days. Things work out in mysterious ways and in all the right timing.
People and opportunities can only meet you as deeply as you meet yourself
In the ten days I’ve spent going from place to place, each person I’ve spoken with has had some different advice to offer. Experiences to share, lessons to teach, interesting living opportunities. Take it all on board and use it to your advantage! This dialogue has been so damn eye-opening and helpful. I deeply appreciate all my family, friends, and loved-ones for sharing all that they have with me while I’ve been travelling. I’ve had lot’s of support job-hunting. Thinking through pro’s and con’s of being in certain areas doing certain types of work. Taking all this into consideration is a process in itself. You have to eventually pick something – sooner rather than later is probably a good way to go about it. It helps to remember that what you may receive can be totally different to what you may have envisioned.
Take what you can get – and say yes more than no!
It’s amazing just how many little things can crop up for you. Whether that be in the form of catch-ups, a bed to sleep in, a day with new people, or even just where to find good coffee. All these chance moments add up to the opportunity to have more contacts. More people putting the feelers out. More energy being turned over in the direction of your desires. And more opportunity to figure out what it is you want and don’t want. On a basic level, saying yes is a cool experiment in manifesting what will make you happy.
Everything works out
Accept that tiny hiccups should always be bargained for. It allows you to fall into the flow of inconsistency between all you know, and everything you’re yet to experience. What feels like a shitstorm today can be healed and forgotten by the next morning. It’s amazing how suddenly circumstances change. And so often they can work in your favour if you remain open to it. I’m working on being open. Because the more I’m doing it, the more things feel like they’re falling into place.
The most essential thing I’ve learnt…
When love is the centre of all things, it will bring you peace. No matter where you are.
My favourite way to cultivate this feeling of love and peace is by thinking of what I’m grateful for. And I’m talking about feeling it really deeply. In the way that you let yourself completely feel in your body the overwhelming beauty of all the love abounding in your life. I have so much love for everyone I’ve been able to connect with so far. For everyone who has been kind enough to accept me in their homes. Or as their friend or short-term acquaintance, for everyone who has touched base. I am so grateful for their kindness and for the open communication we’ve had together. I believe genuine connection is the most beautiful, creative and humbling experience we can share with other humans. It undoubtedly makes the not-knowing a lot more exciting, rather than intimidating.
So I guess the idea of home for me at present revolves around something a little along the lines of Christopher McCandless’s summation, “Happiness [is] only real when shared.” I’ve felt such sweet love and joy, from and for others, in this period of ten days that it’s overwhelming in its beauty. The happiness we’ve shared together is as close to home as I can get while on the road. And, hopefully it’s enough to keep me grounded in a time of change and unknowns. Never afraid to exit the roundabout.